Monday, July 25, 2016

2 Years Home

Wow! I can't believe it has been two years already that Vlad has been home, even though at times it feels like he has been here forever. A memory on Facebook popped up the other day of us waiting at the airport to pick him up at the airport for our first hosting experience. It is crazy to think that we met our son just 3 years ago. And in those 3 years there have been many ups and downs, plenty of yelling, crying, learning, loving, and laughing. It has taken time but we have found our way as a family. The first year was by far the hardest and most physically and emotionally draining year of my life, and let me tell you I have experienced some dewsies. But we kept pushing and moving forward trying to grow and learn from our experiences and mistakes.  

You know how parents tell their children they will always love them no matter what, that their love is unconditional and forever. This was something I truly had to learn and embrace, and was only done through prayer and Gods grace alone. When a child tests you, knows exactly what to say to hurt you and try to push you away, there is only so much a person can do and take before wanting to give up. Luckily I have an amazing group of adoption friends who have been there to listen, cry, laugh with and support me when I needed it most. And I have grown so much as a person and mother, and know that my love for all my children is unconditional (though I have no issue stopping the car and making you walk the rest of the way home if you are going to be hurtful or disrespectful). 

As a family we have learned to trust one another in new ways, and know that we will have the others back no matter what. When Vlad first came home we tried to teach him this idea and the desire to protect ones family. We had asked if he would care if when his sister was older she would date guys older than her that didn't treat girls with respect. At that time he said he wouldn't care because it is her life and she should be able to do what she wants.  We had this same discussion a few weeks ago and he had completely changed his view. He said there was nonwaybhebwoukd let her date someone like that and if anyone were to mess with her he would hurt them. I reminded him of our earlier conversation and he said, i know I was stupid before and have learned a lot since then. This right there was worth all the struggles. He gets what it means to be a part of a family! I wanted to get up and fist pump and shout YES! But I remained calm (afraid I would scare him off) and proceeded to have a wonderful and insightful conversation about how different his life is now as well as the way he thinks. 

Two years have changed our family in so many ways, both as a whole and as individuals. We have lost family members, helped family members fight cancer, gone from 2 kids to 4, raised a teenager, watched Vlad graduate from High school (and going into labor at the same time), watched as Vlad builds relationships with family and for them to embrace him as their own. Baby Olivia was born 6/3/16, and brought everyone closer together. We took our first family vacation and were able to just enjoy spending time with each other, well, at least some of the time. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Love Crosses Oceans Foundation

It's about time! I have been slacking in the blogging department this last year, like seriously. After our first year home and all the crazy that came with it, we have been brave in taking on more this year. It's a bunch of little things, Vlad working, the little ones taking gymnastics, Girl Scouts, PTA, and so much more. But the biggest of all is finally ready to be unveiled. This has been in the works for over a year now and has finally become a legitimate reality.

I started a non profit with a few friends to fill in the gaps we saw in our adoption community. There are many amazing organization's out there, but they usually have a specific focus like advocating for only special needs orphans. We saw how many other children that didn't fit into this mold (my own child included), a lack of support in fundraising options for families adopting or hosting, and very few programs helping the children left behind that age out of the system. So we decided to act. I wanted to be able to do all these things and so many more, so I did a lot of research. Many hours of creating legal documents (mission statements, articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc), and lots of money spent to apply and be officially approved by the government as a recognized 501c3 non profit. It has taken a year, but as of August we received official approval which was retroactive from when I officially filed to become a corporation in January. 

Me and my friends spent weeks bouncing off ideas of what we should call our organization. Lots of really great ideas from some amazing women, but nothing seemed to truly fit to me. Then  one day I looked down and remember how it all started. I remembered that Love Crosses Oceans, which is how Love Crosses Oceans Foundation was born.  Our website is up and running and can be viewed at , we have a broad range of areas we want to provide support for. 

First we wanted to give families a platform to fundraise from since  that is one of the biggest aspects of adoption, and sites like gofundme and youcaring aren't tax deductible donations (which people often want). So we have our families found section which has families that are adopting and fundraising through our site. We also are working with facilitators innUkraine to help advocate and raise funds for children available for adoption, as money is often a reason people chose not to adopt. We hope that in being able to raise funds for available children they will have a greater chance at finding a forever family. There are also children listed that have aged out of the orphanage systems and are trying to make it on their own, and we are trying to provide sponsorship opportunities for people to help meet their basic needs (clothes, food, books for school) so that they will continue on the right path and have a successful future. This is a section we are working on currently expanding by working with missionary run transition homes in Ukraine, and hope to many more kids available for sponsorship by the new year. And as the hosting season draws closer we hope to be able to provide a place where families can fundraise for this amazing and life changing experience as well. 

As an organization we have chosen not to limit or specify countries we work with and are open to growth. We are currently working with families adopting from Eastern Europe, Africa, and domestic adoptions. And because many of our current families are local we are holding out first official fundraiser to help support the organization and our local families adopting! We are having a casino and silent auction night in November (which just so happens to be orphan awareness month). I cannot wait to share everything about it and the help we are going to be able to provide to the families.

Lastly I wanted to give a huge Thank you and express my awe and appreciation for the women on the board that have been helping build this organization. I don't know what I would do without all of you and your individual talents and gifts! So thank you for all you have done Kim Kilmas, Suzanne Tyner, Amy Brockhaus, and Christy Moller! I am so blessed to know women like you who are willing to take Gods word to heart and make a difference in the lives of orphans. 

Please feel free to share about the organization, donate to a waiting child or family, or just donate to the organization :) We can't change the world alone, but we can change lives one child at a time.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Daily Struggles Being an Adoptive Mother

How can you take the place of a child's first mother? I struggle with this daily as an adoptive parent and mom. No matter what the circumstances leading up to a child, either losing a mother or being removed from them, they are still their mother. Their flesh and blood has created a bond that can never be broken. We all have this deep and innate desire to be loved, wanted and accepted by our mothers, and this doesn't go away with age. Even if our mothers weren't nurturing, loving, or in some cases were abusive or neglectful, people can't help but still desire their mother's to love them. 

I have a very difficult time dealing with this fact, from the adoptive mom perspective. I understand it and appreciate it, but it also tears me up inside. Having to fight for my son to desire this from me and not the mother that abused and neglected him. At times, I feel like no matter what I do, he may never look at me as his "mother", even though he may call me mom.  And it makes me angry knowing how he was treated as a child, and have a strong negative opinion towards his first mother as I would towards any mother treating their child that way. But how do you get to a point where you can accept this as a factual way life is, where you can be okay with these emotions and know you are doing everything you can to show them what a mothers love should look like. Almost overcompensating for what he lacked as a child.

For other adoptive parents, how many of your children have contact with their birth moms? Does it help or bring hinderence to your relationship with them? I wonder if those with children adopted at a younger age face this issue as much, either because they weren't with their biological parents for long or they have little memory of that time. I do think there is a correlation between the longer a child was with their biological parents in a negative situation and the ability for them to form healthy attachments and bonds with their new family, as well as having the ability to truly let go of the past and move on. 

And despite all of this, I wouldn't change our lives for anything. I love my son, and all of the stress and changes that adoption has brought to our life. It is a hard road, an uphill battle, but I do see those moments of hope and experience the change in him because he has a family that supports and loves him unconditionally. Even when the little kids are driving him nuts, banging on his door, it is because they love him so much and just want to be near him. 

I don't know if it is my age (I'm only 31 though) or what it is, but lately I have been having a deep yearning of being a new mom again. Whether a biological child (though I highly doubt this as I am not great pregnant) or through adoption, I feel drawn to the idea of adding another child into our crazy messy lives. Our two youngest still get up in the night needing hugs then have to be walked back to their rooms, leaving us parents with interrupted sleep. Our oldest isn't appreciative and rarely says thank you. My 6 year old is in constant emotional meltdown. Oh, and 3 year old thinks he is the Hulk. 

Bet yet, they are all amazing. They are all loved deeply, hugged and kissed daily, safe with a roof over their heads and tucked in at night. They have parents that will love and protect them until the day they die.  And all I can think is, why not one more? Why not love another child and show them they are wanted and worthy, even amidst the chaos of tears and broken toys. So I continue to pester my poor husband and pray for guidance in knowing if this is my own selfish desires or Gods desire for me and our family. Only time will tell...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Adoption- One Year Home

One year can change everything. Depending on the situation things can be changed both for better or for worse, but for us things have only gotten better. Vlad has been home a little over a year now. After years of living through some very horrific experiences, he is now a part of a family, one that loves him unconditionally. It took a long time to get where we are today, hours of therapy, thousands of years, numerous fights and misunderstandings, but he is beginning to understand what it really means to be a part of a family and that no matter what we will stand by him.

    When Vlad first came home, he looks       
    so young to me.

     One year home going to Prom

I don't know if it is cultural to Ukraine, orphan culture or both, but learning that our love and presence were and are unconditional has been one of the hardest concepts for him to accept. Not only will he question it about himself but for our other children as well. Why would we still love and want to spend time with our youngest who throws tantrums over nothing, why not just beat him and leave him in his room until he will just sit quietly and do nothing.  Why should we care about when he has a test or project at school it is his problem not ours. If he is fighting with a friend and upset why do we ask what happened and try to help, we don't know his friends. Basic concepts that have been instilled in me my entire life, to show love exercise forgiveness and grace and demonstrate that I care about my family and their problems, are all ideas that were lost to him at first. 

But slowly, week by week we were able to break through a little more, build trust and show love and grace. Showing up to all his soccer games, because that is what family does. Driving 12 hours for him to see his best friend because we understand how important his friends are to him. Going to drop him at a friends house for prom and wanting to stay to take pictures so that we can have those memories and share them with him.  Acts that normally are just expected of a family are the way that we were able to build trust, respect and love. Turning a lost boy into a son. 

It is hard for me knowing that he has an entire lifetime of memories and connections with his biological family. That no matter what happened in his life he desires to communicate and have a relationship with people that hurt him.  I don't know if it is out of jealousy and feeling that I am not a good enough mother, or for fear that they will hurt him again. Knowing that I missed out on so many important moments in his life, and wasn't there to keep him safe when he wasn't able to kills me.  But I remember that Gods timing is perfect and intricately planned out, and that our son came to us when he was suppose to. I look forward to so many more important moments in the future and do my best to makeup for the time we weren't there.

   Sweet baby Vlad. A photo I cherish :)

"For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay"- Habakkuk 2:3

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Journey Continues...Ukraine Part 2

The story continues... We are severely jet lagged and on the wrong time zone. So of course we decide it is a great idea to stay up until 2am watching Netflix (Kim is up till 4) and sleep in the next day. We are awoken by the woman we are staying with "are you guys getting up soon?" She asks. We groggily open our eyes and ask what time it is, she laughingly replies 1pm, and we all start laughing. We aren't going to be picked up until 3 to go and pick up paperwork so we had taken full Advantage of the open day by sleeping. Thankfully we also woke up to a message that Kim's luggage was found and we could pick it up on the way to region.

Our driver Sergey comes to pick us up and we go pick up our official paperwork and head to get our facilitator Roma and then to the airport. Apparently when we checked in for our original flight they put my name on Kim's bag, so I was the one who had to actually claim it in Ukraine once it was found. I must go in alone to identify the bag and tell this 6 foot 4 Ukrainian man what the contents of the bag are. "Um... Gifts... Like stuffed animals I think". He frowns at me. Oh great I'm going to get hauled off to some Ukrainian jail for carrying someone else's bag. But instead he nods his head and says I can go. Outside Kim wants to know what happened and what they said, I told her and my answer. She starts laughing because the suitcase had money, alcohol, food and a bunch of other stuff in it, and all I said was stuffed animals. Glad she wasn't trying to smuggle anything in haha.

We get on the road for the two hour bumpy ride (like you could get lost in a pot hole) to the region where he kids are. This is the same orphanage Vlad is from, and they tell us we will have to stay at the same "hotel" that we stayed at, which is super ghetto and the water smells like hot dogs and blood. We talk with Roma and he explains everything that we wil need to do over the next few days and talk about the kids. We arrive at the marvelous hotel voyage, literally a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, and by some miracle they have no rooms available. I'm seriously in shock by this because we were literally the only people there when john and I went last year.  There is another hotel down the road that we didn't stay at because it was more expensive and didn't have wifi, but they have rooms available so we stay there. And I totally wish this is where john and I had stayed (if there was wifi), because it was like the Taj Mahal compared to the other place. It's in a small building shaped like a mushroom, and all the rooms are decorated in different themes that fee like you are inside a fairytale. It had white robes for you to wear, a shower that didn't flood, and real pillows! They also had a sauna downstairs below our room where we heard strange noise coming from all night and were convinced there was a troll that lived down there. The restaurant attached to the hotel had wifi and our room faced it, so if we stood on our beds near the tiny high mushroom window we could get one bar of Internet, enough to try to skype our families though it cut in and out. Our bodies pressed against the wall desperate for a signal at 1am because that's was the afternoon in California. 

After this first magical night we were able to visit the children, and they were so happy to see their momma Kim. If you haven't read her blog about this reunion go here. We were able to see them before going to do more paperwork, and then come back again in the afternoon.  I was able to go and check on the kiddos I know from past trips, greeted by tight hugs and kids running up yelling "Aleee" just happy that someone was there that knew them. Over the next two days we were able to visit the children more, bring them goody bags from America with basic needs items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, razors,snacks, and gum. One of our favorite children is a younger heavy set boy who devoured his gum in less than an hour coming and asking for more.  We taught the kids how to play farkle, all of them crowding around to play and watch, completely blocking the hallways so that the staff couldn't even walk by to pretend to be working. All of them trying to sit as close as possible to me and Kim, desperate for attention and recognition.

 One of the girls ran and got her "art book", which mainly consisted of any type of scrap paper she found, and sat next to me hesitantly asking if I wanted to see. "Of course!" She took her time turning each page and showing me all of her work. You could tell it was something important to her and that she doesn't get to share this part of her often.  I told her how amazing they were and she beamed with pride as she went to put her book away. All of them searching for the tiniest of acknowledgment, telling them they matter. Everyone wanted to show us their rooms and bed, where they may have pictures cutout from a magazine taped to the wall trying to show who they are. And there are a few that are very lucky and have an actual photo from their life before the orphanage, faded with curled edges taped with pride above their bed, proving that they were someone before coming here. 

The boy that broke my heart is one who was hosted with Vlad his first trip to America, and I have written about him Wanting a family. When I arrived I found him right away and gave him money that was sent for him to buy food. This boy continues to grow taller and skinnier every time I see him. He has reached a point of being hauntingly thin, with his eyes becoming darker and sinking in more as the months go on.  At first he tried to refuse the money but I insisted and told him to get food and that I would bring other things he needs like
Soap and shampoo. When we return to the orphanage the next day the assistant director wants to talk to me. She tells me that this boy had asked to be taken to buy shoes but when he got there he didn't have enough money. She told him to ask me and he refused saying he would borrow or just wait to earn money when it gets warmer out. I go to talk to him and ask to see his shoes. They are completely worn and torn, with the sole separated from the top of the shoe looking like it is a cartoon talking to you. And he has been wearing these in 35 degree weather. I give him more money for the shoes and additional money for food, as that is what I knew he needed also. I tried to talk with the staff about finding a way to communicate with me when this boy needs things so that I can send the items or money for them. But I was quickly turned down and told that he needs nothing and they will provide for him... Well seeing as how he didn't have a working pair of shoes and they wouldn't give him a new pair or cover the additional cost for the ones he tried to purchase, I find this statement so infuriating. No child should have to worry about scraping together the money to put shoes on their feet especially in colder climates. But at least the staff didn't find a problem in asking for more money for him at that time, just refusing future assistance. 

Sadly the staff at the orphanage are more worried about keeping their very laid back jobs (literally like 15+ staff for 24 children), rather than truly worry about the children's well being. While we were there doing paperwork the orphanage lawyer, an elderly man in his 80's that is a full time employee, asked/stated "there will be no more hosting from here, right". All because these children are being given an opportunity at having a life and a family, not getting sent out on their own when they are 16. They don't want these children to have a family if that means there could be layoffs, which I understand not wanting to lose your job in an unstable economy, but a child's life should come first. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Greetings from Ukraine Part 1

Where to even begin. So from the start of our trip pretty much everything that could go wrong did. While waiting for
Our flight Kim spilled her coffee literally four times before the cup got knocked over completely and I just laughed uncontrollably, we had been up since 4am. Boarded our flight in San Diego on time only to be told there was a problem with the plane that they needed to fix (we sat praying we would make our connection), an hour later we are told to de board and it can't be fixed. Stand in a long line to try and find seats on some plane to get us to Ukraine, and the attendant is having no luck and doesn't think she can get us there in time for our Tuesday appointment (mind you it is Sunday morning at this time). I start looking up alternate airlines on my phone and find a flight thru Aeroflot a Russian airline and she is somehow able to switch all our flights and get us booked on that instead. Fly up to LAX, run through the airport because signs all read our plane to Moscow  is in final boarding phase, literally run past Ty Burrell (Phil Dumphy!!!) can't even stop to stalk him through the airport or get a photo, and amazingly make it to the plane. We are in a row with four seats and naturally Kim and I are stuck in the two middle seats.

 Kim starts making friends with the guy next to her that says he is a boxer (and forthwith called "my boxer friend" by Kim the entire flight), he asks where we are going and why. Kim replies adoption. He looks at us both and asks "they won't allow you to adopt in America?". Totally thinks that Kim and I are together, so awesome.  We have a 12.5 hour flight to Moscow and try to watch some movies, sleep, eat, repeat.  After lots of turbulence and a numb rear end we arrive safely and find a cafe in the Moscow airport to kill time while we wait for our next flight. Well we get to boarding time and go to our gate and no one is up or boarding, strange right. Our ticket says our flight leaves from gate 18, yup that's where we are at. I decide to check the board invade something has changed, and of course it did and we are nowhere near where we need to be. We start running again trying to read all the signs in Russian of how to get to gate 6 and find it just in time because we apparently have to board a shuttle to take us to our tiny plane out on the Tarmac and they were getting ready to leave. We ride over, get out and freeze in the 20 degree frosted air while in line to climb the stairs for the plane. And then we are finally on our last leg to Kiev after only 28 hours of travel.

We arrive in Kiev and go through passport control then to the baggage area. We wait for what seems like forever and then the bags start to come out. We each had two bags (one with personal effects and a second with donations for the children). The baggage carousel stops... But we are missing one of Kim's bags still. We walk over to an attendant and try our best to communicate and explain we lost a bag, what it looked like, etc. It takes about 45 minutes to fill out the one form and get everything understood, and they say they will call when it has been located. After leaving we find our driver Eugene who will take us to a wonderful woman Karen's house to stay for the night before our SDA appointment in the morning (at this point it is 8:45pm in Kiev Monday night). Karen has been waiting for us and graciously has dinner ready, we are able to talk a bit before going to bed and trying to get some much needed sleep. However Kim is not doing well with the time change or the excitement for her appointment, so when I roll over in the middle of the night I hear a "Hi Ally!" and can't help but laugh. 

We wake up early to make sure we are ready to leave on time, Kim with her thermos of coffee in hand to keep her awake. We arrive early at the SDA and wait for our turn to be led up the stairs. Finally the time comes and we meet with a very sweet woman who shows Kim the files for both Yana and Alex, containing a small photo of when they were younger and 1-2 pages of brief information about them. She quickly accepts the referral and we are told we can come back tomorrow to pick up official paperwork to be able to travel and visit the children :). And in that moment we forget about the 30 plus hours of travel and everything it took to get there, we just recognize how great God is and the power he holds to move mountains and make the orphan a son or daughter. 

More Tomorrow.....

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lots of announcements

So many things are happening in our lives right now I can't even wrap my head around it. The last two months have been very intense, and life changing in many ways. And my faith in God has never been stronger, I see his plans unfolding before my eyes, providing answers to previous unanswered questions, and comforting me daily.

So first some good news. I have been working on a project for the last few months that is finally coming to a stage where I can share with all of you. While adopting from Ukraine we fell in love with so many other children there, most of them over the age of 8, and we saw how overlooked and forgotten these children were. There are amazing organizations like Reece's Rainbow that do a great job advocating and bringing awareness about special needs orphans all around the world and helping to raise funds for their adoption.  But there isn't a place where older children are advocated for, providing them with a voice and fighting to show that they are just as worthy of being loved and having a family of their own. After talking about this with other friends and adoptive moms we have launched the non profit Love Crosses Oceans Foundation, which will help to advocate for specific older children that desire to be adopted, raise funds for adoption expenses, and provide a place to sponsor children who have or will be aging out of orphanages and on their own.  To start we are working with facilitators in Ukraine, but hope to branch out to other countries as well. I will be traveling back to Ukraine with a friend adopting children from Vlad's orphanage and meeting with different groups there that we will be teaming up with to provide the most positive and effective assistance to the orphans there.

As I mentioned in my last post there was a cancer diagnosis in my family, my mother was diagnosed and has begun the hardest fight of her life. She is the strongest woman I know and I have faith that she will beat it and come out of this journey stronger than ever.  Over the last 9 months I have not been working, but had tried to find ways to work from home to help provide for my family but none of them ever worked out. I really couldn't understand why they hadn't or what we would do for the income, but I didn't stress as I knew God must have had a plan. Turns out he really did. Right after my moms diagnosis john received a much deserved promotion at work.  This mad it so I no longer needed to be looking for work and would be able to be there for my mom and not having to worry about missing work. However I still have 3 kiddos and I am working to figure out a balance and schedule that works for all. And despite our crazy lives we find new ways daily that work for us, and life continues to go on :)




Thursday, January 22, 2015

Becoming A Teen Mom... When You Are 30

Walking alone with Vlad anywhere is a guarantee that I will receive strange looks from people. I can tell by the their confused faces they are trying to figure out what our relationship is. To make matters worse, my son is at time (rarely the longer he has been home) affectionate and will act like a child and hold my hand when we are walking somewhere or put his arm around my shoulder. I am then given evil stares from those around me, assuming and judging me, without really giving it a second thought. They most likely think I am some sort of child predator that has lured this young boy into spending time with me (which yes since he is a teenager getting him to spend time with his parents usually involves some sort of bargain). But then when people hear him call me mom the looks change, usually even more judgmental, because they are trying to guess how young I must have been when I had him. And although it would have been scandalous and I would probably have given judging looks also, I would have been 14 years old when he was born.

Teen moms go through a hell of a struggle trying to not only parent a child but to continue to grow up themselves. There are long days and nights filled with tears because they just don't feel like they know what they are doing, and what did they get themselves into. They, just like new parents don't know what to do with a baby and have to figure it out while they go, while at the same time learning how to now be a responsible adult. All of these experiences are the same for a parent that has adopted a teenager, even more so for those who didn't have a teen before. I am only 30, and most days this feels old, but it was not too long ago that I was a teenager. I am continuing to grow up and learn what it is to be an adult and a good mom everyday.

But honestly I don't think anyone is ever "prepared" to be a parent no matter how many classes you take or books you read. No child is the same, no family situations are exactly the same and you learn this very quickly.  And even though two children might have the same history or illness, it doesn't automatically mean that they can be treated the same way.  It is a lot of trial and error and finding what works for you, your child, and your family.  This might mean having to hold your baby almost upside down to get them to take a bottle. Or needing to have a mediator when discussing money with your teenager because their emotions are linked to not having any money or anything, and they aren't able to openly discuss things like this without help so they don't feel as vulnerable.  All of these things you come to learn over time, as you get to know your child more everyday you spend with them. 

And just like a newborn there are many tears that come with parenting an adopted teen.  Not only can an infant not talk or communicate clearly what their needs and wants are, neither can a child that speaks a different language making them feel as though no one understands them causing frustration and anger (our son now speaks very good English after just 9 months home).  My point is, that adopting a teenager from a different country is very much like becoming a parent for the first time.  There is so much unknown, late sleepless nights, roller coaster of emotions, not knowing what your child needs or wants, wanting to hold them but they don't want to be held or consoled, and learning how to now exist with another human being dependent on you. 

That first year of parenting a newborn is exhausting, challenging, and filled with hope for the future (especially for sleeping through the night), and this is the same as adoption.  There are so many trials you will face, but just keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.  One day they will be able to clearly communicate their needs, wants, and dreams.  They will be able to understand, even if they don't agree with, the rules and what it means to be a part of a family.  As a parent, no matter how old you are, you just need to do the best you can do.  Show your child they are loved, do everything in your power to keep them safe, and make them feel important and wanted.  These are the basic needs every child has, and can be met by anyone willing to take the time and put in the effort.  Just as Jesus chose to not only take the time, but put in everything he was in order to save us and give us life.

Titus 3:5-6  "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior"

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Starting the New Year

The last 2 months have completely flown by (while at times they felt like they were crawling at a snails pace).  I have been slacking greatly in the blogging department.  There have been a lot of ups and downs,  many tears, much laughter and days filled with drama.  Pretty much you never really know what is going to happen on any given day.  Fighting kids, colds, seasonal asthma, traveling with 10 suitcases and a family diagnosis of cancer, this is how we have spent the last month.  So the best I have for today is to update you all with photos from our holiday and birthday (Lainy's) month.  Hopefully more updates to come this week.